Now that I'm approaching my second semester of college, I want to make it better than the fall. My transition during my first semester was rough and I found myself slipping into a depressive episode by the end. These are the steps I'm going to implement into my daily routine to keep myself healthy and happy this semester.

1. Keep a sound sleep schedule.

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As a college student, this seems like wishful thinking. However, I know I function better in the morning and have never been able to stay up until the early morning doing work. Because of this and the fact that I have morning classes all week, I'm going to try to maintain a schedule, as much as I can. This includes sleeping at the same time every night and waking up at the same time.

2. Follow a consistent morning routine.

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The morning is my favorite time of day and I want to optimize it so that I start off the day feeling put together and happy. My routine includes eating breakfast, meditating, and checking my planner for the day. Becoming more consistent with these steps will give me the most benefit throughout the day.

3. Journal almost every night.

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Journaling is my favorite thing to do when I have a lot on my mind at night. Getting it all out on a piece of paper is relaxing and so helpful in relieving anxiety and stopping me from overthinking. I follow this up with a daily gratitude practice which I have previously written an article on.

4. Eating healthy and keeping a workout routine.

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Diet and exercise are two of the most important things I can do for myself. Making better decisions in the dining hall makes me feel fueled and ready to go, as well as scheduling in a daily stint at the gym to relieve stress and build strength. Preparing a routine for myself ahead of time and sticking to it can make going to the gym less intimidating.

5. Work on time management.

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Time management is the most difficult thing for a college freshman to learn. We go from very structured schedules to having loads of free time around classes. Figuring out how to use that time is slightly overwhelming. Scheduling out blocks of time for designated work and also time for leisure can make using that time in a balanced way more approachable.

6. Stay organized.

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Keeping a planner to keep my day organized, as well as keeping my space organized is imperative to being a successful college student. You know what they say, a cluttered space means a cluttered mind, and we don't have time for a cluttered mind.

7. Make time for my social life.

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No one said successful college students can't have a social life! Last semester, I found it difficult to make friends and rarely went out. This just added to my loneliness and, therefore, my depression. Nourishing your friendships and connecting with other students is more important than you think!

8. Fit in "me" time.

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Everyone knows self care is important, but oftentimes college students get too caught up in the stress and busyness of school that we forget to take care of ourselves until we're completely burnt out. Scheduling some time in once a week or more for some good ol self care can do wonders for the psyche.

9. Read for fun.

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I always miss reading books I want to read when I'm in the throws of the semester. It seems like we have no time, but if we intentionally delegate time for reading, it makes it easier to find the time to do it.

10. Take breaks.

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Taking breaks, whether it be breaking up my study time or going home for a weekend away from school, is a good way to avoid burnout. Giving my mind and body some rest will keep me in tip-top shape so I can do my best work.